We can't rely on one man: Harvey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We can't rely on one man: Harvey

Justin Chadwick 29/05/2011 11:44:47 AM Comments (0)

Fremantle will be in danger of becoming a mediocre side unless players learn to lift in the absence of the AFL team's big stars, according to coach Mark Harvey.

The Dockers' insipid 46-point loss to St Kilda on Saturday was their seventh straight defeat in games in which ruckman Aaron Sandilands hasn't played.

Fremantle managed just one goal in the first half.

Sandilands is expected to miss three more matches with a toe injury, and Harvey said the 211cm giant's absence shouldn't be used as an excuse for mediocrity.

"We need to be better than that. If you rely on too few players, you are either going to finish mediocre or down the bottom of the ladder," Harvey said.

"We were reactive to a lot of situations. Not forcing the issue enough. That's the real essence of it.

"Whether Aaron's there or not, individually it's up to you as a player how you handle those moments."

Former Adelaide big man Jonathon Griffin toiled valiantly in the absence of Sandilands, tallying 38 hit-outs in a promising effort.

"I thought he was competitive and I though he tried to the best of his ability. He wasn't the issue," Harvey said.

But the Dockers were simply blown away by a far hungrier Saints outfit.

"We planned for everything that St Kilda do but unfortunately our players, for various reasons, didn't follow instructions," Harvey said.

"Firstly we got beat physically, whether it be hard ball or getting stripped or not being clean in close.

"Secondly we got found out with some easy goals.

"They only took nine marks inside the forward 50 but I reckon they had four or five goals that were open running goals where they got us over the back.

"We planned for that but unfortunately didn't plan it well enough.

"It was as flat as I've seen our players and I'm trying to come to terms with why. So that's something we need to monitor and make sure we don't have our players in that state.

"We had a light week on the track, maybe that was the issue."

Fremantle (5-4) face Hawthorn at the MCG next Sunday but are limited in the amount of changes they can make due to their lengthy injury list.

But in a much-needed dose of good news, Harvey said midfielder Michael Barlow (leg) and defender Roger Hayden (foot) were in line to return to WAFL ranks after recovering from long-term injuries.

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